Starting a relationship and the effort to carry it forward in life always depends on the behaviour of the people between whom the relation is established. Be it your personal relation or a professional one, maintaining mutual harmony, respect and benefit is a must to make it blossom and work life long. Particularly, talking about your relationship with your colleagues at office, being professional is fine, but showing too much of professionalism is not at all acceptable. You should remember that your colleagues are also human being just like you.
So, before acting spontaneously think about the repercussions that would have risen if they would have behaved with you in the same manner in which you are behaving with them. Here, the major impact will be on the work that is delegated to you or your colleagues. If your relation is sweet with them your work will also be sweet. But, as soon as this relation starts turning sour, the work quality also starts declining. Whether, it’s your colleague in the housekeeping department or at junior, middle or the senior level in the hierarchy building a sound and happy relation with all is the key to a successful workplace.
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Now, narrowing down on this matter, we have shortlisted a particular type of job profile or a department, which in today’s world of advanced technology plays a very crucial role in almost all the industries. We are talking about our graphic designers who have consequential role play in the creation and maintenance of the digital profile of the company. They also have a pivotal role in creating thought-provoking, whimsical and impressive designs for company’s marketing and advertisement strategies. They are the most creative and dynamic set of employees in an organization whose creative mind makes the company attractive to the people.
Thus, working with them in a friendly and jovial manner is a necessity for an organization’s growth. For an organization, designers are like those stones that help in raising the level of water for the thirsty crow where the water is the customer, and the crow is the company. Their working environment and sense of working might be different from the rest of the departments in an organization. But, this does not give the rest the right to behave differently with them. You have to understand them and work with full coordination and cooperation. You never know in what creative and distinctive way they can come to your rescue at the time of need. So, we have made a list of few tips that are sure to work and help you communicate and collaborate more efficiently with your designer colleagues.
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Tips for a Successful Collaboration with Graphic Designers
For a positive and fruitful work environment with graphic designers, all you have to do is inculcate the following points in yourself and spill the feeling of oneness and uniformity in the environment. Remember that a strong team is invincible not because of its leader, but because of its unbeatable players who are one as a team.
Start with a Clear Mind on What You Want: A designer faces two types of clients. One, who clearly knows what they want from them, and the other one who does not know what his requirements are. Here, a designer’s task becomes easy in the former case. If the client himself is very clear about his requirements he can then effortlessly convey the same to his team of designers.
How effectively a client understands his own needs determine the effectiveness of the designer’s productivity. Thus, the client should be limpid both in his creative demands, such as style, fonts, color scheme, content and in his business requirements i.e. his target audience, objectives, etc. He must also list down the scope of his projects and his necessities all at once in the beginning rather than communicating it one by one in intervals.
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Stop Verbal Explanation and Make Your Imaginations Evident to Your Designers: Every client’s never ending demand from the designers is a design that stands out and speaks about its purpose to the audience. That is why they speak one line that “they will be in a position to comment once they see it.” This confuses the designers even more.
So, why not show the designers what your (client) whole project is and what do you want as a final product. It’s a universal fact that visual impressions have larger impact than mere verbal explanation. To make this work, you can prepare a creative draft of your whole project and list down all your essentials and then present it to your designers through visual examples.
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For this, you can collect samples of your design style from other similar design styles, if there is any, or you can draw it on your own. Because of such visuals, your designers will be able to understand your exact needs in terms of colors, techniques and other creative nuances.
These samples serving as an example enables the designers to show the design in their own creative way with zero time wastage in understanding the concept. The best way to give a visual understanding to your designers is through mood board in which you can put relevant images, font style, color palette, icons, content type and others to show what you want.
Arrive at Mutual Agreement on Minor Details: Coming to a mutual ground on creative facet of the project is necessary to get final product as desired. But, there are other essentials too, on which both the client and the designer must agree for smooth functioning. These other essentials are meeting deadlines, fulfilling revisions, on-time payment and more. If these details are clearly understood, a lot of unnecessary problems can be avoided and work can be delivered without any tension. Every project must have a reasonable timeframe including the time for revisions.
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If all these conditions are answered in the beginning there would be no scope for any confusion regarding the safety of money and deliverability of the work. Even details, like the format of the file must also be agreed upon before starting the project as it might create a problem and cause delay in submission if delivered in wrong format.
The deadline is also meant for clients as their timely feedback to the designers along with request for revisions (if any) affects the submission of the final file. In case, they are unable to respond immediately, they must inform about their unavailability to the designers so that they aren’t blamed at the end for late submissions.
Openly Welcome Designers into Your Team: In a corporate world, the feeling of oneness grows amongst employees when they are made part of a team. Such inclusiveness increases employee’s sense of responsibility and ownership towards the organization. Treating the graphic designers, especially the freelancers in the same manner can do wonders for you and your company. No employee wants to be just an employee in the organization. He too wants to be a part of the company’s culture and team and establish a friendly relation with their colleagues.
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To start this initiative, all you have to do is speak in a friendly, informal way with your designers and make them feel comfortable around you. This way you both will not only come to know each other, but would also gain each other’s trust. Gradually, when full trust is gained, the designer would himself want to join your team.
Allow your designers the liberties that you have allowed to the other members of your team. This establishes equines amongst the team members and eliminates all the feelings of jealousy. Give them access to the company’s credentials and data so that they are also aware about the company’s working and insights. It is your responsibility to make your designers comfortable with the other existing members of your team and share all means to communication with them.
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Make Your Feedback Sound like Problems and not as Exact Solutions: We are humans and humans are meant to do mistakes from which they learn and change themselves to become more proficient in life. Same is the case with graphic designers. It is not impossible, but neither always possible for the designers to give the correct design in the first attempt.
Changes are part and parcel of their work. Even clients do not get satisfied with the first submission. At least, one round of changes is highlighted by them. But, how do they communicate this feedback is the key to success. To get your changes done correctly in the first time, you should phrase your changes as problems rather than solutions.
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You should only say what you want or what are the flaws in the design rather than directly telling them how to bring the changes. For instance, you have asked your designer to create a new brochure with emphasis on their new range of products. After seeing the first copy of the brochure design you thought that a pictorial representation on the usability of the product must be incorporated for the customer’s understanding.
So, this new requirement must be communicated to the designer in a statement like, “Our product’s usage needs an easy understanding. Hence, please add a graphical presentation of its use in the brochure.” Whereas, statements in which you should not communicate your feedback can be like, “Please add graphical presentation on the usability of our products with the help of arrows, or flowcharts.” By giving a solution you would not only ignore your designer’s expertise, but would also stop them from using their creative mind that can give better suggestions than yours.
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Keep Your Mind Open for Variations: An expert or scholar’s knowledge and expertise in his subject of mastery should be followed by all irrespective of his position in the hierarchy. Applying the same here, the knowledge and skill of graphic designers must not be crossed or questioned by the client. It is true that he is not as competent as the designer in their work field.
So, instead of arguing or forcing your ideas on them, the client must be open to accept their suggestions whole heartedly. Clients are usually rigid and have a fixed mind set who only looks straight at their goal. They are only concerned with their imagination coming to reality in the way they have thought of it. What they fail to understand is that the designers have an upper hand over them on this matter and that their knowledge sharing can do wonders for the company, which might not be possible through client’s vision. Thus, it is sometimes better to follow the master’s footsteps than to deviate and get lost in the world.
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Explain Your Vivid Idea Multiple Times to the Designer: Generally, over explanation irritates the listener and makes him lose his interest in listening to the speaker. But, this is not applied when it comes to abstract concepts. Every little explanation (even multiple times) is important when explaining the abstract concepts. No number of explanations is optimum when explaining such concepts. Every time you explain your abstract concepts to your designers, it will sound as something new to them.
Apart from the project details, client must also make the designers understand about the purpose of the design and how it will be beneficial for the business. We are saying this because telling the designers about the purpose of the design and how it fits into the business will help them design a much deeper and connecting design. That’s why having too much of information is better than zero information, even if it is of no use to you.
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Be Soft and Polite Every Time You Speak: This tip is of utmost importance in every relationship. Whether it is a personal relation or a professional one, soft speaking and a polite voice can do wonders. Your words and your tone of saying it can impact your relation seriously. And, in professional world it is necessary to be polite and easy when talking to your colleagues at any level, to get your work done on time with superior quality.
A foul or loud mouth of the client with their designers can cause delay in work submission or hamper the quality of the work. Thus, to avoid unnecessary ego clash, clients should always be kind towards their designers. Even if they are feeling angry or irritated on them they must not shower that on their designers. Rather they should make the designers understand things politely.
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Trust Your Designers to Deliver the Best of Their Ability: Trusting your co-members is a salient feature of a powerful team. Yes, trusting someone for the first time is a difficult task, but not an impossible one. So, to start trusting and believing your designers, first you have to know them better and build a personal connection with them.
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Speak more frequently and about off-work matters. Once you have known your designers personally, you are ready to trust their work and give them the responsibility to bring your ideas to reality.
End Your Each Project with a Personal Touch of “Thank You”: There are two such words in this world, which if spoken makes the speaker a bigger and a heartiest person amongst all. These two words are ‘Thank You’ and ‘Sorry.’ Accepting your mistake and saying sorry will not make you small and appreciating one’s kindness/sweet gesture towards you does not mean you are bowing down before him. Applying the same gesture when getting the final work from the designers will not rob you of anything.
A simple ‘Thank You’ when accepting the final work will not only make them feel happy and recognised, but would also portray you as a genuine and a kind person. Everybody wants their hard work to be appreciated. And, if you do so, your respect in the person’s eye increases by manifolds. This way, the designers would be more than happy and always willing to do your work.
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Following and instilling the above points in one’s self is not a hard task to do. If you try you can surely achieve success in no time. To build a long-term, happy relation with your designers this is the only authentic way. Remember that any person can make other’s work for them by showing false praises. But, not everybody carry forward that relation after the work is done. And, in today’s world what matters the most is the relations that are hard to make and easy to break.